Two cell lines, one proficient (Mex+) and one deficient (Mex-) in the ability to remove O6-methylguanine, have been isolated by Epstein-Barr virus-mediated transformation of a single blood sample obtained from a normal human male. Extracts of untreated cells differ in their O6-methylguanine transferase (methyl acceptor protein) activity. Although both lines arise from the same individual, they show great difference in their sensitivities to the toxic action of N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine. Chromosome counts of the strains reveal a modal number of 46 for both. Neither X-inactivation nor a gross abnormality in chromosome number can be the cause of the difference between the two lines.
This work was supported in part by grants from the NIH (GM 07816 and CA 19265) and the Department of Energy (DE-AC02-76 EV0 2040).